Peanut Butter and Jam Balls

May 11, 2012

I’ve got a thing for nut butter and jam. It’s pretty serious. I say “nut butter” (rather than good old “peanut butter”) as I don’t discriminate – I’m all about almond butter love too. And brazil nut butter. Cashew butter is also fabulous. It’s all love, people. Nut butter love.

Originally my love was centred on two ingredients: nut butter and banana. Combined. Together. On bread. That sandwich has rocked my world for many years. Many joyful years. I’ve endured the curious, sometimes judgemental stares harshly directed my way as I’ve devoured my nut butter and banana sandwiches or ordered this heavenly combination at sandwich shops. Sticks and stones, people – nothing can change my love for nut butter and banana.

It’s a beautiful thing.

My younger brother introduced me to nut butter and honey sandwiches many years ago. I recall a stage when Jackson was around seven, and he’d have this combination for lunch. Often. And maybe for an afternoon snack. Sometime he’d have one or two after dinner. While I applauded his creativity, and was somewhat concerned about his fervent love for said sandwiches, I was never swept up by this particular nut butter combination myself. No, I seemed to remain firmly in love with my old faithful nut butter and banana.

Although recently, a new nut butter friend has come onto the scene…

Nut butter and jam may be an age-old love-story, but it’s rather new to me. And now that I’ve been properly introduced, I’m more than a little obsessed. You might recognise this combination from, well, most movies set in North America (I’m thinking early nineties movies in particular, like The Babysitters Club – high five!). The characters would gather together and eat crustless, haphazardly formed and generously spread PB&J; sandwiches. All of them. But they’d call it peanut butter and “jelly”, and that’s a little weird. I say jam. Nut Butter and Jam.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Nut butter and jam commonly graze my wholegrain slices at breakfast or lunch, or even snack o’clock. For this combination to be suitably satisfying and not sickly sweet, you need natural nut butters – ones with 100% nuts and no added sugar. Otherwise it’s just too much. Too far. I don’t enjoy.

These peanut butter and jam balls, I do enjoy. They’re a great afternoon pick-me up, giving you a hit of nutrients and nostalgia in one. A moment of pure happiness. 1995, scrunchie and denim overall-wearing, watching The Babysitters Club and wishing you were Mary Anne while planning Summer adventures with your friends kind of happiness.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Peanut Butter and Jam Balls

This recipe requires a hand blender or food processor.

Makes 7 balls. To make more, simply double the recipe.


1/2 cup Peanuts (unsalted and shelled)
2 tablespoons Tahini, Unhulled (some tahini is rather thick, you want a runny tahini for this recipe)
1 1/2 teaspoons Pure Maple Syrup
A pinch of Salt
1/2 tablespoon Chia Seeds
3 1/2 teaspoons Jam (use a rich, good quality jam for best results. I used Bonne Maman Raspberry Jam – love.)


1. Preheat your oven to 170 Degrees Celsius.
2. Toast your peanuts on a pan in the oven for ~4 minutes until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool but keep the oven on.
3. Once your peanuts are cool, pulse them in a hand blender or food processor until it starts to resemble a flour consistency – be careful not to overblend, some small lumps are still desirable and you don’t want it to become a paste.
4. In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut flour with the tahini, maple syrup, salt and chia seeds. Mix well to distribute the chia seeds. The mixture shouldn’t be too sticky and should come together easily. Add a little water or some more tahini if the mixture is too dry.
5. Moisten your hands and grab a portion of the mixture (remembering that you should get ~7 balls out of the mixture). Add 1/2 teaspoon of jam and mix it with your hands, squishing and shaping it into a ball as you go – you want the jam to be distributed in a haphazard way rather than spread too thin. Place the ball onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and repeat with the remaining mixture.
6. Bake your balls in the oven for 4-6 minutes until slightly golden on top and not too brown on the bottom – check them at 3 minutes if your oven is particularly efficient.
7. Once cooked, let the balls cool completely on a wire rack before consumption. Serve and enjoy. Scrunchie-wearing is optional but encouraged.

Heidi xo
  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) May 11, 2012 at 8:00 am

    a beautiful thing indeed!

  • Hannah May 11, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Awesome! You introduced me to nut butter & jam a little while ago = the best! Last week I picked up some macadamia butter from the markets, amazing- my new favourite 🙂 x

  • onika May 11, 2012 at 9:06 am

    i'm not a nut butter person… i know… shame!! but scrunchy gal i am!! x

  • Vien May 11, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Hey there! 😀 Just started reading your blog and absolutely loving it! 😀 Oh gosh! what would our lives be without nut butter, right? 😉

  • Kari May 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Oh my goodness me. I discovered nut butters quite late in life but now add them to anything and everything. But! I haven't fully explored the jam combination. These balls will, I think, introduce me…

  • Blithely Unaware May 11, 2012 at 10:41 am


    You had me at nut butter and jam… and now I'm saying "Hello!" to a possible new obsession.

    These look amazing Heidi!!


  • leaf (the indolent cook) May 11, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Most certainly a beautiful thing. What a great snack, I don't think seven of those babies will be enough…

  • Michelle Chin May 11, 2012 at 11:11 am

    I love almond butter! i can't really take peanuts…

  • Heidi May 11, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Lisa – thanks 🙂

    Hannah – I have a jar of Macadamia butter I'm yet to open!! Must try it…

    Kari – nut butter each and every way is brilliant 🙂

    Blithely Unaware – thanks, lady. I find them to be supremely satisfying 🙂

    Leaf – hehe yeah a double batch is good if feeding more than 2 people for a few days!

    Michelle – lucky there's lots of different nut butters out there 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • Ames May 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I heard a lot about nut butter but somehow never thought I would make it but it sounds doable now! Love peanut butter and jam on toast so this would be right down my alley! 🙂

  • Julia May 11, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    i have all the ingredients yay! i grew up with peanut butter and honey but tend to go for peanut or almond butter and raspberry jam now.. tahini and honey is awesome too!

  • Hannah May 11, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Um, so what I'm eating right now? Two huge spoonfuls of peanut butter, a little bit of carob, and two slugs of maple syrup. Stirred together in a bowl. With a spoon.

    It's like the gross not-for-company version of what you've made here… except embarrassing.

    Swap you? 😛

  • The InTolerant Chef May 11, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Oh so yummy indeed! I love macadamia nut butter with mashed banana and then drizzled with honey- it can make even gluten free toast taste good! 🙂

  • msihua May 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    I tried making almond butter and ended up with delicious almond crumbs.. fail.. hahahaha.. but I like the idea!!!

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella May 12, 2012 at 3:52 am

    I always used to think that the ate PB with actual jelly! 😛 I thought it sounded a bit gross but I still wanted to try it 😛

  • Heidi May 12, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Ames – yay!

    Julia – oooh love the sound of tahini and honey!

    Hannah – haha, not embarrassing…genius 😉

    InTolerant Chef – omg that sounds so good!!!!!

    msihua – aw try again!

    Lorraine – it's so misleading, isn't it 😛

    Heidi xo

  • Nic@diningwithastud May 12, 2012 at 11:39 am

    PB&J; balls 🙂 love it!!

  • Kath (My Funny Little Life) May 12, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Haha, this is a really fancy idea! 😀

  • Yasmeen May 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Beautiful idea, Heidi. I can see this being just the right snack for a long afternoon – something sweet but also full of protein from the nut butter. I can even see making these for my nearly 3-year-old nephew when we reunite in June (he's usually in Holland I'm in Melbourne of course). Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Heidi May 13, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Nic – thanks 🙂

    Kath – hehe thanks!

    Yasmeen – oh how lovely. You must be so excited to be reunited with your little nephew, how special 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • Heidi May 15, 2012 at 6:52 am

    onika & vein your comments came as spam! weird. totally not spam so I let them through now 🙂 thanks, lovelies. xo

  • Iron Chef Shellie May 15, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Must try this! Have tahini in the fridge and don't know what else to do with it other than hommus!

  • Heidi May 16, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Michele – yes, you absolutely make these 🙂 hehe. But I also love tahini as a salad dressing, watered down with some lemon juice.

    Heidi xo

  • Ashley May 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Aaah, I am a lover of the 'nut' butters too! Cashew butter does not exist in my life enough! This is fabulous idea, sounds like a 'slightly' healthier treat to peanut and chocolate…. 🙂

  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet May 27, 2012 at 2:03 am

    I love nuts in general but i don't think i've had much 'nut' butter 😉 These look great and quite healthy too thanks for sharing!

  • Heidi May 28, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Ashley – hehe just a tad, thank you 🙂

    Daisy – you're so welcome!

    Heidi xo